If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.
– Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (Act Three)
The modern dog spends a significant portion of his or her life waiting. Much of a dog’s waiting time happens away from human eyes, alone in houses or apartments, waiting, patiently or not, for owners to return from wherever it is that owners go.
But in New York City, where so much of life takes place on the street, dogs also wait in public.
Lucky dogs wait together
But most dogs wait alone.
How many little losses a dog endures each day, never knowing if a separation will be long or short.
It’s not easy to wait. Waiting is, by definition, uncertain.
And so reunion, never taken for granted, is always sweet and fresh, no matter how many times a day it happens.
Are dogs on to something here?
Melissa Cooper is a West Side Rag columnist. She runs the blog Out Walking the Dog, where she published a version of this column.
All photos by Melissa Cooper. Home page photo at Harry’s Burritos by Avi.